Chicken & Asparagus Stuffed Shells Alfredo

Chicken Asparagus Stuffed Shells Alfredo | Chicken & Asparagus mixed with a ricotta & mozzarella – stuffed in jumbo shells & baked with a simple homemade Alfredo til perfection. And it’s EASY!! Yes honey, this is what all the best dreams are made out of. 

Asparagus is probably the first green vegetable that I really, truly loved. My oldest two kids are the same way, they love it. When I cook it up with a meal, even though I cook up a couple of batches worth – there still never seems to be enough to go around. We inhale it.

Many of you know that I have a pretty large veggie garden that I enjoy tending to. Well, a couple years ago, I decided that I was going to try my hand at growing asparagus. I mean, heck – we love it so why not. I went to the store & purchased the asparagus as plants. They weren’t exactly cheap plants. The lady at the garden center told me to not harvest it for 2-3 years. Why she said – I can’t even remember anymore. I saw little asparagus pieces popping up & even though I wanted to, I resisted picking them. This year, I was SO excited at the possibility of harvesting my own fresh asparagus…. but much to my dismay (about my absolute zero knowledge about growing it) my asparagus has decided they are no longer asparagus. They would like to be ferns instead. Very homely, lanky ferns at that.

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So, I’ve decided that I’ll just stick to the things I know how to garden (I can grow a beautiful ‘mater!) & leave the asparagus growing to the experts at Michigan Asparagus… who unlike me, actually do know what they’re doing.

Michigan is the nation’s leading asparagus producer (just recently pulling ahead of California & Washington). 120 family farms harvest approximately 20 million pounds of asparagus on 9,500 acres of land. And the kicker? That asparagus is hand harvested. Since asparagus stalks continue generating new growth (as much as 10 inches in one day under pristine conditions), harvesters may make 25-35 trips across each field to harvest the complete crop. This year’s Michigan Asparagus season is delayed due to unseasonably cold temperatures in April – but that just means that the asparagus season will continue on into June this year! Speaking of June… the National Asparagus Festival is held in Oceana County, Michigan (the asparagus capital of the world) during that month each year. Many of you know that I quite enjoy taking road trips to food festivals (and finding little antique stores along the way!) so the Asparagus Festival is definitely on my radar!

They sent me a box full of just harvested asparagus & I couldn’t have been happier. My son set to work slicing it up & I set to work creating a recipe that I’ve had in my head for a little while, which is actually kind of a new spin on my Cheese Lover’s Stuffed Shells.

Chicken & Asparagus Stuffed Shells Alfredo

And y’all, is it delicious or what.

SPOILER ALERT! There’s a HUGE giveaway at the bottom of this post!

I may or may not have made these stuffed shells 3 times in the past 7 days.

Ok, ok… I confess. I totally did. See?

When I say these stuffed shells are amazing – believe me y’all…. they are AMAZING.

I took tender Michigan asparagus & diced it in about one inch pieces – then sautéed it with a little onion in some olive oil. I added some chopped rotisserie chicken to it once it the veggies were to the texture I wanted. You don’t have to use a rotisserie chicken… you could use leftover chicken or just dice up raw chicken & cook it. I was being lazy, so I went the rotisserie route. I just love those things!

Then I mixed all that goodness with ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, some gahhhh-lic, & an egg to hold it together. That delicious stuffing went into jumbo shells… and was smothered in Alfredo sauce before being baked off into glorious perfection.

I used my homemade ‘Better than Olive Garden’ Alfredo sauce for this. It’s really super easy to make… it’s just a couple of ingredients & really fast to make. Like, its really easy. But… if that’s still out of your comfort zone, feel free to use your favorite premade Alfredo sauce instead (although I greatly recommend that if you go that route, you use one in the refrigerated aisle at the store than the jarred ones near the spaghetti sauce).

I sent a dish of this home with my longtime friend, Amie, the other day and got this text a little later… (Ella is 2 & one of the cutest little girls you’ll ever meet. One day she’ll grow up & we’ll get her liking it too lol).  I loved that she could actually tell a difference in the asparagus too. Love my Michigan Asparagus!

I could sit here all day and say all sorts of magnificent things about this recipe (all of which would be true) but that would just be taking time away from you making it. What are you waiting for? It’s easy – you can totally have this for dinner tonight!

Word of warning though – if a family riot begins over the last shell, you can’t sue me. Cool? Cool.

SCROLL DOWN BELOW THE RECIPE TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

Chicken & Asparagus Stuffed Shells Alfredo

Ingredients:

For the shells:

  • 15 jumbo pasta shells
  • 2 cups chopped, cooked chicken
  • 1 bunch fresh Michigan asparagus (woody ends removed), chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 cups ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Mozzarella (or shredded Italian cheese blend will work too)
  • 1 egg
  • olive oil, to taste (enough to cook in)

For the Alfredo sauce:

  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 3-4 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup Mozzarella cheese
  • salt & pepper

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot of salted water, cook the jumbo pasta shells until al dente. Drain; let cool so you can handle them without burning your hands.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté the onion & asparagus over medium heat until tender. Stir in the chicken & minced garlic; cook for another couple minutes. Remove from the heat to cool.

In a large bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, shredded cheese, egg, & some salt & pepper to taste. Stir in the chicken asparagus filling. Stuff the cheese mixture inside the cooked shells. Place them in a 2 quart baking dish.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the garlic, cream, & a pinch of pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, whisking often. Add the Parmesan cheese and cook the sauce on medium heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and is smooth. Make sure you give it a good whisk every couple of minutes! Add the mozzarella cheese and stir until smooth.

Pour the Alfredo sauce over the filled shells. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until the cheese sauce has browned slightly & is bubbly. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Cooks tip – decorate the top of your dish wish asparagus spears for a beautiful presentation!

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I think you’ll love Michigan Asparagus as much as I do – just give them a try! You can connect with them so easily too! First, there’s their website you can reach by clicking here – and I’ve linked all their social media channels below for your convenience. Make sure you enter the giveaway right after!!

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Disclaimer: Huge thanks going out to Michigan Asparagus for sponsoring this post & recipe creation.  All opinions & general ramblings are (as always) my very own.